Mahendra Singh Dhoni's retirement announcement on Saturday evening came as a huge surprise and shock for fans across the country, with people from all walks of life extending their wishes to the swashbuckling sportsman for his contribution to Indian cricket for nearly two decades. Post his retirement announcement, there have been many questions surrounding what Dhoni will be doing next, which his friend and business partner Arun Pandey went on to reveal on Sunday. 

Mr Pandey said that MS Dhoni will be spending more time with the Territorial Army post his retirement and denied speculations stating the superstar cricketer's brand value would go down following the decision. He stated that he predicted Dhoni's retirement announcement to come after the T20 World Cup, which was postponed last month to 2022, but added that nobody saw his decision coming on Independence Day. 

Speaking to news agency PTI a day after Dhoni's retirement announcement, Pandey said, "I was aware that he would do it soon but did not know the exact timing. Anyway it was for him to decide. He had started IPL preparations but it was postponed and then the T20 World Cup was postponed, he thought to be mentally free,". He added, "And since August 15 is a special day for the Army, he must have thought on those lines. The T20 World Cup postponement was surely a factor as he planned for it,". 

MS Dhoni currently holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army and had trained for a period of more than a month with the Parachute Regiment following the semifinal loss in the 2019 World Cup. "One thing is for sure, he will be spending more time with the Army. He will also give time to his commercial ventures and other commitments. We will sit down soon and decide the way forward", Pandey stated. 

Mr Pandey asserted that Dhoni's brand value will not come down even after his retirement. He stated, "Since the World Cup (in July 2019), we have signed up with 10 new brands and it is a long-term thing. It will keep on increasing as Dhoni is not just about cricket, he is a youth icon." Mr Pandey further said, "In most cases retirement does have an impact but not when it comes to Dhoni. His achievements are not individual, his achievements are for the team and for the country,".

Dhoni will continue to play in the IPL for another two or three seasons, Mr Pandey added. He said, "He will play for at least a couple of years, if not more. He will be more mentally free now that he is retired. The T20 World Cup postponement was definitely a factor in his retirement."